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Jaguar Land Rover Works on Transparent Pillar Technology

December 16, 2014

These days, Jaguar and Land Rover are not only offering luxury vehicles. They are also busy developing advanced technology that ups the ante in terms of vehicle safety. The British automakers revealed on Monday that it is developing transparent pillar technology, that which will allow the driver an uninterrupted 360-degree view outside the vehicle.

Jaguar Land Rover recently started what it calls the “360 Virtual Urban Windscreen” research project, that through which the development of the transparent pillar technology is done. JLR is aware that a vehicle’s A, B and C-pillars create blind spots. These obscure certain areas, so the driver’s view is somehow limited. To offer motorists an uninterrupted perspective behind the wheel, JLR came up with a way to eliminate the blind spots without actually eliminating the pillars.

As the name suggests, the technology JLR is currently working on makes the pillars appear transparent. In fact, the actual car body itself somehow appears see-through.

The transparent pillar system consists of screens and cameras, both of which are essential in bringing the view of the outside in. There is a screen positioned on the surface of each pillar and this would show live video captured by the cameras mounted outside the vehicle. The camera reveals to the driver the angles that the A, B and C-pillars usually conceal. Through the live video feed afforded by the cameras, the person behind the wheel will be able to see not only other vehicles, but cyclists and pedestrians as well.

JLR noted that the technology will work automatically. When the driver turns his or her head to the right or left, the system would automatically make the right-side or left-side pillars transparent. The system will show the live feed from the cameras immediately when it detects that the driver intends to change direction or when the vehicle arrives at a junction.

“The Jaguar Land Rover research team is developing this technology to improve visibility and to give the driver with the right information at the right time,” Wolfgang Epple, JLR’s director of research and technology, said in a statement. “If we can keep the driver’s eyes on the road ahead and present information in a non-distracting way, we can help drivers make better decisions in the most demanding and congested driving environments.”

The automakers expressed plans to use the transparent pillar technology with the previously announced high-tech virtual windscreen heads-up display. By combining the two technologies, the driver would be able to better monitor the movement of other drivers.

Speaking of the virtual windscreen, the JLR team is also working on what it dubbed the “Follow-Me Ghost Car Navigation.” This feature is designed to help a driver arrive at a specific destination. What this does is project an image of a ghost car in front of the vehicle. The driver is meant to follow the ghost car, which represents navigation instructions. Rather than listen to instructions or check a map in the dashboard screen, the driver can just follow the ghost car’s lead.

It is important to note that the aforementioned technologies are still being developed. It would take a while before these are featured in JLR’s production vehicles.

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